Raises £2 million from Epidarex Capital to progress pipeline of IgE antibody drug candidates to treat cancer
IgE antibodies shown to offer greater efficacy than IgG comparator in cancer models
Dr. Tim Wilson appointed Chief Executive Officer
London, 20 June 2017 – IGEM Therapeutics (IGEM), an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer, today announced the closing of a £2 million Series A investment from Epidarex Capital, a specialist early stage life science venture capital firm. IGEM is now seeking further investment to complete the round. In addition, IGEM has announced the appointment of Dr. Tim Wilson as Chief Executive Officer.
The funding will enable IGEM to continue to invest in pipeline development as it builds its portfolio of IgE antibody candidates, including those that target folate receptor alpha, HER2, EGFR and PD-L1, and will support the further development of IgE antibody platform technology based on protein and glyco-engineering. IGEM will benefit from the expertise of scientific founder Dr. Sophia Karagiannis of King’s College London (KCL) who is recognised as a world leader in the field. The epsilon constant region of IgE has evolved to fight complex, multicellular parasitic organisms resident in tissue by recruiting powerful immune effector cells such as macrophages, basophils and monocytes. IGEM believes that potent immune responses arising from IgE are suited to the destruction of solid tumours which also reside in tissue. Dr. Karagiannis’s team has demonstrated superior efficacy for IgE versus cognate IgG antibodies in a range of pre-clinical cancer models.
Tim Wilson joins IGEM as Chief Executive Officer with 28 years of experience in the life sciences sector, ranging from venture capital and start-ups to investment banking and equity research. He has worked with hundreds of private and public life science companies in the US and Europe at all stages of development, from start-ups to industry leaders. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge University and a BSc in biochemistry from Imperial College, London.
Dr. Sophia Karagiannis of King’s College London and Scientific Founder of IGEM said: “The funding from Epidarex Capital will enable IGEM to grow its portfolio of IgE antibody candidates and to develop its antibody platform. We believe that IgE antibodies are ideally suited to the treatment of solid tumours and we look forward to working with IGEM to realise their potential.”
Dr. Peter Finan, Venture Partner at Epidarex Capital, added: “IGEM is pursuing an exciting and differentiated approach to cancer therapy. Epidarex is delighted to have created IGEM and led the Series A investment. We are also very pleased to have been able to recruit Dr. Tim Wilson to lead IGEM as CEO. We look forward to working closely with him to build a highly innovative company at the forefront of cancer.”
Dr. Tim Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of IGEM, commented: “I am excited to be joining IGEM. The raising of £2 million in Series A funding is a testament to the compelling research results generated by Dr. Karagiannis and her team at KCL. I look forward to leading the Company as we create important new therapies for the treatment of cancer.”
About IGEM Therapeutics
IGEM is a UK immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to treat cancer. Unlike Immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgE has evolved to kill tissue-dwelling multicellular parasites endowing it with several key features that make it ideal for the treatment of solid tumours.
Pre-clinical proof of concept has been obtained with two different IgE antibodies both showing significantly greater efficacy versus IgG comparators in a variety of rodent cancer models. IGEM is building a portfolio of IgE antibody candidates targeting folate receptor alpha, HER2, EGFR, PD-L1 and CSPG4. The company is also developing a novel antibody platform technology based on protein and glyco-engineering of the epsilon constant region of IgE.
IGEM is a spin out of King’s College London and has access to the world class expertise in the lab of Dr. Sophia Karagiannis at KCL.
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies primarily in the United Kingdom and United States. Epidarex was created to meet the need for more sector-specific risk capital for young companies, including spin-outs from leading research universities in up and coming life science hubs. The fund’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market.
For more information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
+44 (0)20 3078 9675
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